About 280 potential COVID-19 exposures in quarantine following ‘active’ week for new cases – News-Leader


As coronavirus spreads, people are getting more cautious and creative with their social interactions. USA TODAY

More than 280 people are being monitored for potential coronavirus exposures after a week one public health called one of the most “active” for new cases since residents were ordered to stay at home in late March. 

Assistant public health director Jon Mooney assured the Springfield City Council on Tuesday that the health department and hospitals still have enough resources to handle new cases, though he noted scores given for testing and public health capabilities would likely show a dip. 

In the past 10 days, Greene County has seen 24 new cases of coronavirus. 

Two of them are hairstylists at the Glenstone Avenue Great Clips location who tested positive for the virus and potentially exposed around 140 people during the course of their work. 

All parties were wearing masks, however, and all of the direct exposures have been offered testing, Mooney said. 

He said the community still has enough capability to continue testing despite increased demand. 

“When we think back to a couple months ago, a test was very hard to come by,” he said. “And if you were fortunate enough to get that test at the state public health lab, we got results back quickly. But if it went to a private lab, many times that wait was 8 (to) 10 days for that private lab result.”

Now, the health department is doing its own tests of known contacts of coronavirus and other local labs are performing their own tests.

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But Mooney and Mayor Ken McClure said the public should remain vigilant and take precautions to stop the spread of the virus, even as the city moves to its second phase of loosening restrictions on which businesses and institutions can reopen. 

“I think this is a critical week,” McClure said. “With that increased ability to be open, to go other places that we might not have gone before and with more people goes with it the responsibility to actually make sure we follow those guidelines.” 

Katie Kull covers local government for the News-Leader. Got a story to tell? Give her a call at 417-408-1025 or email her at kkull@news-leader.com. You can also support local journalism at News-Leader.com/subscribe.

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